NBA Basketball

89
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
LA Lakers 23 24 17 25 89
Utah 24 39 27 24 114
114
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)04:0022:00 ET9:00 PM CT2:00 , February 24, 2021
Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah  Attendance: 4,912

Sizzling Jazz, slumping Lakers headed for marquee showdown

According to STATS
According to STATS

Los Angeles Lakers at Utah Jazz

  1. The Lakers have won four straight meetings with the Jazz for the first time since sweeping the 2010 Western Conference Semifinals. Prior to this streak, Utah had won 13 of the teams' previous 15 meetings.
  2. The Lakers have lost three straight games for the first time this season. Since LeBron James joined the team in 2018-19, Los Angeles has lost 4+ straight games that James started just once: a five-game streak from March 1-9, 2019.
  3. Utah set a franchise record with 28 three-pointers in Monday's win over Charlotte, and the Jazz had 19 three-pointers from their bench, an NBA record.
  4. LeBron James set season highs in assists (13), field-goal attempts (29) and turnovers (8) in Monday's OT loss to Washington. James is the only player this season with 29+ shots and 8+ turnovers in a game.
  5. Georges Niang, who had not scored more than 14 points in a game this season, went 7-for-7 on three-pointers in Monday's win over the Hornets. He became the second player all-time to go 7/7 or better on threes and not attempt a two-pointer or free throw, joining Robert Horry in the 1997 playoffs vs. Utah.
  6. The Jazz have won 13 straight home games by double digits, tied with the 1995-96 Bulls for the second-longest such streak in NBA history behind the 1989-90 Suns (15).

NBA fans not closely following the league might be surprised to learn which team in Wednesday night's marquee matchup in Salt Lake City enters with the best record, red-hot outside shooting and an offense and defense both ranked in the top four.

That would be the Utah Jazz, not the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

The Jazz dominated another opponent in crunch time Monday night en route to a 132-110 victory against the Charlotte Hornets, giving Utah its 21st win in 23 games.

That win, which included the Jazz storming back from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit, was made possible by a franchise-record 28 3-pointers by Utah, another steady game by Donovan Mitchell (23 points, eight assists) and three 20-point outings from reserves Joe Ingles (21), Georges Niang (21) and Jordan Clarkson (20).

Ingles and Niang each drained seven 3s and Clarkson netted five deep shots as the Jazz's bench set an NBA record with 19 3-pointers. Mitchell, who had three 3-pointers, helped Utah become the quickest team in NBA history to make 500 3-pointers in a season -- in their 31st game.

In typical fashion, the Jazz annihilated their opponent as they got rolling. Utah outscored Charlotte 41-20 in the fourth quarter thanks to a game-changing 15-0 run. Considering the Jazz were not functioning at their usual high level for three quarters and the Lakers' game was up next, it could have been an easy game to let slip away.

"The No. 1 team in the league wins a game like that," Mitchell said. "That's really where our head is at. That's where we need to continue to be."

Meanwhile, the Lakers travel to Utah on a down note. Los Angeles squandered a 17-point, second-half lead in an eventual overtime home loss to the Washington Wizards on Monday.

Los Angeles was temporarily matching the Jazz's recent winning ways, putting together a seven-game surge (Utah has streaks of 11 and nine games in January and February). But the Lakers have lost four of five and three straight.

Part of the problem is the absence of All-Star center Anthony Davis and guard Dennis Schroder because of injuries. Davis won't return for at least three weeks due to a calf injury. Schroder must miss at least one more game because of the NBA's health and safety protocols.

"It takes a whole team to collectively get wins, and right now we have two of our main rotation guys out," forward Kyle Kuzma said after Monday's defeat. "Obviously, there's no excuses. You don't want to lose to an under-.500 team like that, but this is the NBA and anybody can win. We just have to figure it out."

MVP candidate LeBron James has added weight on his shoulders with the undermanned team. James, 36, has logged the third-most minutes in the NBA this season, including 43 in the overtime loss.

"I can continue to do it," James said. "But I would much rather us be whole."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 24, 2021

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